Month: February 2016

The U.S. Extends Its Drone War Deeper Into Africa With Secretive Base

Joshua Hammer from the Intercept writes: Feb. 25 2016, 4:48 a.m. Source: The U.S. Extends Its Drone War Deeper Into Africa With Secretive Base GAROUA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, proclaimed the sign on the concrete and glass terminal building. The designation was something of a misnomer, because only three or four planes land each week in this sleepy outpost in northern Cameroon, near the Nigerian border, all of them domestic flights. The schedule of the flights tends to be unpredictable. The aging jet that had just flown me to Garoua from Douala, for example, had made an unscheduled stop in N’Djamena, the capital of neighboring Chad, so that a government minister could attend a funeral nearby. As a result, the plane had touched down in Garoua five hours late. But that wasn’t the only unusual thing about this Cameroon Air flight. Inside the cabin I had noticed several young men who were unmistakably U.S. military — close-cropped hair, athletic builds. And as I descended from the plane and set foot on the tarmac into the blast furnace heat, I …

EU told ExxonMobil that TTIP would aid global expansion, documents reveal | Environment | The Guardian

The European Union’s trade commissioner told the multinational oil company ExxonMobil that a major free trade deal being negotiated with the US would help remove obstacles to fossil fuel development in Africa and South America, documents obtained by the Guardian reveal. At a meeting in Brussels in October 2013, Karel de Gucht told the firm that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) could address its concernsabout regulations in developing countries that restrict the company’s activities. The news emerged as a Greenpeace barricade delayed the resumption of talks between EU and US delegations on the TTIP deal, which both sides hope can be completed before President Obama leaves office next January. According to minutes of the October meeting, the hour-long conversation focused on shale gas; “geopolitical aspects”; EU plans to label tar sands as high-polluting; and a possible reconversion of ExxonMobil’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in the US to export crude to Europe. This would be “costly and may take two-three years,” the minutes said. Heavily redacted records show that two officials from …

Risking Nuclear War for Al Qaeda? | Consortiumnews

Source: Risking Nuclear War for Al Qaeda? | Consortiumnews Exclusive: The risk that the multi-sided Syrian war could spark World War III continues as Turkey, Saudi Arabia and U.S. neocons seek an invasion that could kill Russian troops — and possibly escalate the Syrian crisis into a nuclear showdown, amazingly to protect Al Qaeda terrorists, reports Robert Parry. By Robert Parry When President Barack Obama took questions from reporters on Tuesday, the one that needed to be asked – but wasn’t – was whether he had forbidden Turkey and Saudi Arabia to invade Syria, because on that question could hinge whether the ugly Syrian civil war could spin off into World War III and possibly a nuclear showdown. If Turkey (with hundreds of thousands of troops massed near the Syrian border) and Saudi Arabia (with its sophisticated air force) follow through on threats and intervene militarily to save their rebel clients, who include Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front, from a powerful Russian-backed Syrian government offensive, then Russia will have to decide what to do to protect its 20,000 or so military personnel …

Crisis in Kiev

Source: http://www.german-foreign-policy.com A serious government crisis is shaking up a pro-western Ukraine. Yesterday, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk barely survived a no-confidence vote, after President Petro Poroshenko urged him to resign. Hundreds had assembled in front of the parliament building to protest against his policies, which are impoverishing large sectors of the population. Lately, people have been particularly upset over the hike in gas prices – making, for many, heating throughout the icy Ukrainian winter an expensive luxury. Berlin and Washington are worried that the country will no longer be controllable, due to the disastrous economic situation and the dramatic loss of popularity of the President and government. Western powers have therefore begun to call on Kiev to get serious about fighting corruption. Spectacular resignations of several ministers and the deputy general prosecutor have provided greater urgency to this demand and accentuated the government crisis over the past few months and the last few days, with no solution in sight. The formation of a “government of technocrats” under a longtime western diplomat is in discussion, in …